KURT KLAUS, watch­maker “WE HAD NO CHOICE”

Bulletin - - Contents -

“What idea are you es­pe­cially proud of?” – “It was at a very dif­fi­cult time for the Swiss watch in­dus­try that I had my best and most vi­sion­ary idea: IWC needed to find an ex­tra­or­di­nary prod­uct to demon­strate that there was still a rea­son for me­chan­i­cal watches to re­main on the mar­ket, de­spite the boom in quartz watches. In 1985 we de­vel­oped an easy-to-use per­pet­ual cal­en­dar that could be man­u­fac­tured ef­fi­ciently.”

“Why was that so im­por­tant?” – “It al­lowed us to pro­duce a larger num­ber of com­plex, yet also user-friendly watches.”

“How did you come up with that idea?” – “A pow­er­ful man once said, ‘It takes a cri­sis to bring out the best ideas.’ We had no choice – we had to come up with some­thing.”

Kurt Klaus, 83, is a liv­ing leg­end in the watch­mak­ing in­dus­try. He spent his en­tire ca­reer with the Schaffhausen-based watch man­u­fac­turer IWC (In­ter­na­tional Watch Com­pany). Although Klaus of­fi­cially re­tired in 1999, he con­tin­ues to work on what he calls “se­cret watch projects.”

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